A court in Britain has now decided that Julian Assange shall be handed over to Swedish authorities to be faced with accusations regarding sexual offences. The judgment is appealed by Assange’s legal assistants.
Here in Sweden there is still no discussion on what will happen once he is here. If the United States, with it’s special court prepared for Assange, puts pressure on the Swedish government to deliver him, it’s certainly a delicate question whether Sweden can resist. To claim that USA isn’t a law society is unthinkable. To refuse because the risk of a death penalty would be embarrassing. For Carl Bildt personally to come into conflict with his friends over there is hard to believe.
With all these uncertainties, and possibly the life or freedom of an international celebrity at stake, the silence in the media here is a mystery. Even more so when one considers that freedom of expression is a core question in the whole affair. For journalists here that fact normally inspires the highest degree of protection to the endangered individual. Dagens Nyheter, for instance, have for years been intensely campaigning for Dawit Isaak, a journalist and Swedish citizen of Eritrean origin, now suffering in an Eritrean jail on dubious accusations.
No such support for Assange is in sight in mainstream media. On the contrary occasional articles appear where his character is put in question on the sexual issue. As a Swede one can’t avoid asking: what are we about to do? Don’t we mean anything with our celebratory speeches about human rights and fundamental freedoms? Albeit USA consider him a spy or something, that’s understandable. But a moral obligation for non-allied countries is exactly that of offering shelter for people accused of political crimes by other governments.